Announcer Erin Molan defended the use of Asian accents in a series of jokes with her radio co-hosts, denying that the jokes broadcast in 2019 — including one in which Molan impersonates a Chinese sex worker — were racist or inappropriate.
Instead, the team’s “mimicking” accents was funny because it was “self-deprecating,” she told the Federal Court on Tuesday.
Molan, 39, sues the Daily mail for defamation of an article and two tweets published in June 2020 in which she says she falsely implied that she is racist, insensitive and arrogant.
The article and tweets in question refer to a May 30, 2020 broadcast of The continuous call team show on Sydney radio station 2GB in which Molan used the phrase “hooka looka mooka hooka fooka” in reference to the names of Pacific Islander NRL players. But in her defense, the Daily mail more than 20 other examples unearthed from the show’s presenters, including Molan, who used accents in a way he felt was racist.
Molan, who is employed by Nine – the owner of this masthead – demands heavy compensation from the Daily mail. She fought back tears on Tuesday, telling the court that after the stories were published, she was in a “very bad place” and had received multiple death threats aimed at herself and her young daughter.
She said she was “inconsolable” and “struggled to cope” after the articles were published and she received a “barrage of abuse”, including from “many people I respect and admire and many prominent people”.
Cross-examined by attorney Bruce McClintock, Molan was then shown a series of clips from the 2019 show where she joked and imitated Asian accents, with co-hosts including Ray Hadley and Darryl Brohman.
In the first of these clips, dated April 1, 2019, Molan imitates an Asian accent that says “I wuv you wery long time, wery handsome man”.
After playing the clip, Mr. McClintock challenged Ms. Molan to repeat her words “as you said it on the program”. She said the words, but did so without the accent.